It’s that time of year! D1Baseball has released its top 25 college baseball rankings for 2023 with just three weeks to go until the season. Like last season, the SEC is dominating the preseason rankings, fielding nine teams in the top 25 with four of them being in the top five. The ACC is not too far behind with seven teams in the top 25, followed by the Big 12 and Pac 12 with three, and one each from the AAC, Big Ten, and the Sun Belt. It seems like the college baseball season gets better and better each year, with the 2023 season expected to be no different.
College Baseball Rankings: 2023 D1Baseball Top Five
5. Texas A&M (2022 Preseason Rank: Not Ranked)
Texas A&M went into the 2022 season not ranked and showed that was a mistake by year’s end. They went 44-20, including 19-11 in the SEC, and road that wave until they were one of four teams remaining in the College World Series. Unfortunately for them, that’s where it all ended but it was a very impressive run that earned them the number three spot in the final rankings to end the season. This was all done with their first-year head coach Jim Schlossnagle, who came in and immediately turned the culture around.
After all the success last season, Texas A&M is at number five in the college baseball rankings for D1Baseball to start 2023. This is in large part due to four of their top five hitters returning from last season, including their best hitter Jack Moss, who hit .380 with six home runs and 18 doubles.
Also coming back are notable starters Nathan Dettmer and Ryan Prager along with reliever Will Johnston, who had 4 saves with an ERA of 3.25. Not only do the Aggies have power coming back to the lineup, but more experience on the pitching side. That is a recipe for success when it comes to trying to accomplish what they did last year and maybe even more.
4. Ole Miss (2022 Preseason Rank: 5)
The Rebels enter the season at number four in D1Baseball’s top 25 college baseball rankings for 2023 after winning their first National Championship in program history. Although it’s no easy task, Ole Miss is looking to reclaim their thrown and that’s not out of the realm of possibility. The defending champs lost quite a few pieces from last year but they still have some key returns to be excited for.
Despite losing Tim Elko‘s power and leadership, Ole Miss might have a couple of returning players to fill that void. It starts with Jacob Gonzalez, who was second on the team in both home runs (18) and RBI (52) last season. That along with his good defensive ability will make him a top MLB draft prospect in the future. Mix that with designated hitter Kemp Alderman and Peyton Chatagnier, who both hit 11 home runs in 2022, and this Rebels offense has the pieces on offense to make another run.
Ole Miss feels like they have not only the pieces on offense but also the pitching side of things. They did lose an ace in Dylan DeLucia for the upcoming year but bring back Hunter Elliott, who is primed to be an elite arm to anchor this rotation. As a freshman last season, Elliott started in 12 games with a record of 5-3 and a 2.70 ERA to go along with 34 strikeouts and two shutouts.
The Rebels might have some question marks in the rotation but if what Elliott showed last season was real, he could propel the rest of the pitching and Ole Miss could find themselves competing in Omaha yet again.
3. Stanford (2022 Preseason Rank: 6)
Coming into 2023, Stanford has another year of high expectations to make a deep run. The Cardinals have made back-to-back College World Series appearances but haven’t gotten over the hump. They hope three times the charm as they enter the season at number three in the college baseball rankings as the only non-SEC team in the top five.
Stanford will be missing a mix of important hitters and pitchers from the 2022 team but they also bring back some key pieces. On the offensive side, the Cardinals will bring back three of their five top homerun hitters, including Carter Graham, who might be the focal point of this offense.
With departures came more players, who have filled out the depth around the diamond and made it one of the strongest areas of the team. With that, the return of several key pitchers will make this team even more dangerous, with four of their top five leaders in wins (along being atop of the leaderboard in ERA and strikeouts) returning.
Among them is senior Quinn Mathews (2022 team leader in wins and strikeouts), who should take on a starting role in 2023 after working a good amount of innings out of the bullpen last season. Stanford’s leadership and experience give them a high chance to make another deep run.
2. Tennessee (2022 Preseason Rank: 19)
2022 was very kind to Tennessee, winning the SEC regular season and tournament championship. They had a dominant record of 57-9, going 25-5 in conference play and that earned them a number one national seed in the NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately, the Volunteers’ stellar season didn’t even end in a trip to Omaha, as they lost in the Knoxville Super Regional.
It’s going to be hard to repeat their success from last season. Tennessee lost seven of their nine position starters while also losing key bullpen pieces, leaving several holes in that department.
The good thing is Tennessee still has one of the if not the best rotation in the country, being led by the three-headed trio of Chase Dollander (2022 SEC Pitcher of the Year), Chase Burns (2022 National Freshman of the Year), and Drew Beam (2022 SEC Freshman of the Year).
Although the offense is missing some big players from last season, Tennessee was able to bring in some well-experienced transfers to boost this lineup that includes Maui Ahuna and Colby Backus. There will be some questions throughout the team but from top to bottom, they should be able to carry their own weight and try to finish what they started last season.
1. LSU (2022 Preseason Rank: 8)
The LSU Tigers might have the biggest expectations of any team heading into the 2023 season as they enter as the number one team in the college baseball rankings. The collection of talent in Baton Rouge is special, landing four players who find themselves on D1Baseball’s top 100 impact transfers list. One of them is NC State transfer slugger Tommy White, hitting .362 with 27 home runs and 74 RBI in 2022, who finds himself number one on that list. The other three are pitchers Paul Skenes (2), Thatcher Hurd (7), and Christian Little (29).
Not only did LSU bring in star talent but they also retained star talent like outfielder Dylan Crews and first baseman Tre’ Morgan, who along with White and Skenes, were named Preseason All-Americans by many.
The offensive talent doesn’t stop there as they also have multiple other returning talents that were atop the leaderboard in 2022. Top to bottom, this lineup is the best in all of college baseball.
To go along with a dominant offense is a very exciting pitching staff that also has a lot of talent. As mentioned, the Tigers brought in three big impact transfers but also have developed some of their own talent on the mound. On paper, the all-around talent on display is like no other and now we’ll get to see if they can transfer that from paper to the field and make a run at the National Championship.
D1Baseball Top 25 College Baseball Rankings (6-25)
6. Wake Forest
9. Oklahoma State
11. East Carolina
12. North Carolina
14. Virginia Tech
18. Southern Miss
21. NC State
23. South Carolina
24. Texas Tech